Fontanini Nativity Collection Display – HIStory & Starry How-To!

Enjoy CHRISTmas, It’s HIS Birthday; Enjoy Life, It’s HIS Way — that’s Bronner’s motto. But the Fontanini Nativity collection display adds another layer to our Christmas Wonderland — Enjoy CHRISTmas, It’s HIStory! Staff artist, Eileen Boone went to work resurrecting our 5-inch Fontanini Nativity and village display with new life earlier this year. We’re sharing the “behind the scenes” and showing you some of her incredible how-tos in a mini series. From glittering wire stars, to realistic looking stone walls and a “moving” epoxy river that’s truly epic, these DIYs will also work well with Department 56 village or other collection displays!

History With The House Of Fontanini

Christine, representative of Roman Inc., shares, “Mr. Bronner actually was first to find Fontanini in Italy direct, sometime in the 1960s, and was ordering direct from Italy. Roman became the exclusive distributor in North America  for the line around 1972.”

Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland has enjoyed decades of friendship with The House Of Fontanini.

Bronner’s Fontanini Nativity Display

As a matter of fact, our Fontanini Nativity display is as much an attraction as it is a showcase of pieces to add to your own collection!

Bronner’s Fontanini merchandiser, Michelle, said the project came about after seeing Eileen’s creativity with the Department 56 village displays. “I knew she could give the Fontanini display a much needed face-lift.”

Eileen from Bronner’s decorating team effectively put her vision to work in resurrecting the 5-inch Fontanini Nativity village to new life!

Fontanini Nativity Display At Bronner's 2022

The Goal

To showcase the life of Jesus chronologically through Fontanini’s remarkable figurines.

The expanse of Fontanini’s 5-inch Nativity collection is vast, spanning Jesus’ life from birth to resurrection. Additionally, the series also includes a myriad of figures and accessories to showcase Middle-Eastern village life.

With this in mind, Eileen explains how the idea for the new display developed:

“The workers on the floor asked me if I could arrange the pieces in chronological order and I thought about some of the ways to make this possible. The blue ceiling needed touching up as well. As a result, I was inspired to paint a sky scene that incorporates into the story. From there, the pieces fall into place.”

On where her inspiration came from, Eileen continued.

“The pieces themselves are the inspiration. In addition, I looked at the natural landscape of important locations from Jesus’ life.”

From start to completion, the new Fontanini display took over 3 weeks to come to fruition. It was a joy to watch the excitement of guests and staff as they enjoyed the “behind-the-scenes” process unfolding before their very eyes. Of course we wanted to know what Eileen’s favorite part of the experience/display was, too .

“My favorite part of the experience was being able to see everything as it came together little by little and seeing people enjoy the hard work and creativity in the display. “

Regarding her favorite part of the display, Eileen says, “The River! It was so fun to create, and putting the bridges into place really accented it well. In reality, the whole thing was fun to do.”

In truth, we’d be hard-pressed to pick just one feature! So in a series of posts we will be highlighting three impressive display ideas and showing you how to make them too.

Eileen’s Fontanini Nativity Display DIY Stars

Fontanini Angels and Glittering Stars

How To Make Glittering Wire Stars

Amid the night sky of Eileen’s skyscape, Fontanini angels seemingly suspend in mid-air (from wire) among handmade, glittering, 3D wire stars.


  • Wire, 2 different gauges (your choice)
  • Wire Cutters
  • Hot Glue
  • Gold Paint (or yellow)
  • Paint Brush
  • Gold Glitter

DIY Glittering Wire Stars Video Tutorial|

Fontanini At Bronner’s

Fontanini Nativity Display At Bronner's 2022 With Fontanini Signing Event Sign

On November 19, 2022, 37 years after his Father Ugo Fontanini first appeared at Bronner’s, Emanuele Fontanini greeted guests and signed purchases from the Fontanini Nativity collection. It was one of many appearances by Emanuele at the World’s Largest Christmas Store℠!

Check out Bronner’s Events Calendar for information on artist signings.

Why Own Fontanini?

Because the lasting legacy of the House Of Fontanini’s Nativity figures spans more than 110 years!

Additionally, Fontanini’s handmade Italian products are designed and manufactured in the foothills of Tuscany.

Fontanini is as committed to quality as they are in sharing the beauty of the CHRISTmas story through their vast selection of figurines. Building your own collection of Fontanini Nativity pieces begins a cherished family tradition that will one day become a treasured family heirloom!

We hope you’ll consider subscribing to Bronner’s blog so you don’t miss our “stone” walls and moving epoxy river tutorials as well as all things CHRISTMAS!

2 thoughts on “Fontanini Nativity Collection Display – HIStory & Starry How-To!

  • December 10, 2023 at 8:57 pm

    Hi there,
    My aunt started a tradition of collecting a Fontanini set for me since my first Christmas in 1991 – she recently passed away and I was wondering if there is a catalog or archive to know if I have all the pieces from my set. For instance, does Fontanini change the design each year or after a certain amount of years before retiring a set? She started a collection for my younger brother as well, and we noticed that his Holy Family, while still the same 5 inch scale as mine, is of a different design. Thus, we’re trying to determine which figures belong to our corresponding sets.
    Thanks for your help!


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